federal court filing activity

The heightened pace of securities class action lawsuit filings continued in 2018, as filing levels remained well above historical patterns, even though the total number of suits dipped very slightly compared to 2017. The total number of filings during 2018 was significantly inflated by the number of federal court merger objection lawsuit filings during the year. However, even disregarding the M&A-related lawsuits, the number of traditional lawsuit filings during 2018 was well above long-term averages. Even more significantly, the litigation rate (that is, the number of suits relative to the number of listed companies) arguably was at all-time record high levels in 2018 compared to prior years, as discussed further below.
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